in support, local entertainment venues go red

On Tuesday September 1, from 9 p.m. to midnight, red lights flooded the facades of local performance venues to call attention to the financial situation caused by the COVID-19 health crisis. The event served in a unified way to raise awareness and take action to pass the RedAlertRESTART Act, which would provide economic relief to the live entertainment industry.

“The Arts & Culture sector employs 5.1 million people and provides $877 billion value added to the U.S. economy,” reports #BeAnArtsHero, a grassroots coalition of arts and cultural workers. “It adds more value to the economy than transportation, agriculture, or tourism,”  The Arts & Culture sector is a cornerstone of the larger U.S. economy, making up 4.5% of GDP. Despite their out-sized cultural and economic contribution, the Arts & Culture sector of the U.S. economy is in grave danger.”

Above, left to right: The Hardware Store and Phoenix Convention Center were lit red on September 1 to signify support the RedAlert Initiative.

Due to Covid-19, 62-percent of Arts Workers report that they are fully unemployed. 94-percent of Arts workers report income loss; to date, the average Arts worker reports $23,500 in lost revenue this year. Due to Covid, 66-percent of Arts workers report they are unable to access the spaces, staff, resources, or supplies needed to perform their work.

According to the Brookings Institute economic report Lost Art: Measuring COVID-19’s Devastating Impact on America’s Creative Economy, it estimates a loss of “ 2.7 million jobs and more than $150 billion in sales of goods and services for creative industries nationwide, representing nearly a third of all jobs in those industries and 9% of annual sales. The fine and performing arts industries will be hit hardest, suffering estimated losses of almost 1.4 million jobs and $42.5 billion in sales. These estimated losses represent 50-percent of all jobs in those industries and more than a quarter of all lost sales nationwide.”

The targeted list of cities for the #WeMakeEvents #RedAlertRESTART #ExtendPUA event on September 1, 2020 across North America include Washington D.C., Huntsville, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, Boston, Baltimore, Las Vegas, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Nashville, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, and Canadian neighbors including Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

Above, left to right: The Clearwing Productions building and The Phoenix Theatre Company were lit red in support of the RedAlert Initiative.

The North American event comes on the heels of the August 11 event #WeMakeEvents Red Alert Day Of Action when over 700 buildings were lit in red across the UK, calling attention to the same plight facing the Live Events Industry there.

As theaters, concert tours, festivals, opera houses and other live events as well as film and television production remain closed, or open on a very limited basis, the entire industry is impacted, from designers, technicians, programmers, and stagehands to rental shops, manufacturers, and distributors of entertainment technology. The first industry to close last March, Live Events could be the last sector to re-open due to the COVID-19 crisis.